Hair Salon Reopening: How to Sanitize Your Workplace
After being shut down these long months, you're breathing a sigh of relief as salons across the country reopen, and you can finally get back to work. But back to work doesn't mean business as usual for hair salon reopening.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, every stylist needs to understand some essential nail or hair salon reopening guidelines before they start taking clients.
Without guidelines in place, your customers may feel unsafe, stop coming to your salon and tell others to stay away. The government could even shut down your business.
How do you keep your customers and livelihood safe?
What items should be on your hair salon sanitation checklist, and what procedures should you follow?
Let's take a look at some best practices for your hair salon reopening.
Sanitation Guidelines For Hair Salon Reopening
The coronavirus can live in the air for three hours, but it lives much longer on surfaces. To get back to work, you need to know how to sanitize those surfaces before reopening your hair salon or nail salon. You'll also have to follow safety sanitation practices as you operate.
These hair salon sanitation guidelines serve as your starting point. The guidelines include plans to set in motion before you reopen, principles and procedures to start with, and essential tasks that will be broken down into other categories.
1. Remove all items that you cannot sanitize
Since you cannot sanitize paper, it's essential to remove magazines, look books, and similar items. Magazines are popular with clients who want to browse, but the internet makes it possible for them to decide what they want before they arrive.
When clients schedule appointments, let them know magazines won't be available, and encourage them to browse Pinterest or other resources instead.
2. Place disposable masks and hand sanitizer at doors of the salon
Masks and frequent hand washing are proven to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so keep disposable masks and hand sanitizer at your door for clients to use when they arrive. Be sure to restock as needed.
3. Place hand sanitizer at the counter and each station
Again, hand sanitizer is a highly useful tool in killing viruses, which makes it important in high-traffic areas like your reception counter and workstations.
4. Reduce the use of hairdryers
Coronavirus is an airborne contagion that can spread from a distance shorter than six feet, but some speculate that it can spread further when propelled.
To contain COVID-19 particles, Connecticut initially suspended the use of hairdryers in salons when announcing its May 20 hair salon reopening date. They have now rescinded the ban, but as an added precaution, some salons will not offer blow-drying until the pandemic has passed.
5. Do a deep-cleaning at the end of each day
Coronavirus can live for several days on most surfaces, which is why daily deep-cleaning is essential. Although you'll be disinfecting regularly throughout the day, a daily deep-clean will catch everything you've missed.
Deep-cleaning will also take care of tasks you simply can't do all day long, such as wash linens and mop floors.
A deep clean at the end of each day will catch all the germs before opening the next day, but the only way to protect clients who aren't the first ones through your doors is to follow a regular sanitation checklist as you work.
Each state has its requirements for hair salon reopening, so check yours before opening to make sure you're compliant.
Texas, for example, has clear and comprehensive guidelines, and your state may have similar documents.
Recommended Sanitation Products
Sanitation has always been an essential part of running a salon. With the added focus on cleanliness in the face of COVID-19, you may need some items you don't usually keep on hand. We have a few product suggestions for you.
Ultraviolet Sterilization Machine
This machine uses high-power ultraviolet rays to kills viruses and bacteria. You can use it to sterilize working tools, face masks, towels. It is safe to use on brushes, sponges, scissors and disinfects electronics like cell-phones.
Ultraviolet Sterilization Machine
A forehead thermometer allows you to check client and employee temperatures with minimal touching and is much easier to sanitize than traditional thermometers. Do this check at your hair salon entrance.
If you're not familiar with Barbicide, you'll want to keep this on hand even after the coronavirus threat passes. Barbicide is a powerful disinfectant made for professional groomers, meaning it meets hair salon sanitation guidelines for disinfectants.
Disposable Latex-Free Gloves
Many people have latex allergies, which could affect both clients and employees. Choosing latex-free gloves makes it easier to keep everyone in your salon safe.
Disposable Latex-Free Gloves
Disposable Masks for Clients
Since many clients might now bring their own maks, you can provide some free disposable face masks at the door.
Disposable face masks
Hair Salon Sanitation Checklist
It's one thing to know you need a hair salon sanitation checklist, but it's another to understand what that list should contain.
- What should you sanitize?
- How often should you sanitize?
- What should you clean throughout the day, and what should be part of deep-cleaning?
Here's a guide to sanitizing all areas of your salon, including your reception area, restrooms, shampoo bowls, and workstations.
Checklist for hair salon reopening
1. Disinfect the Hair Salon Reception Area
At your hair salon reopening, your reception area is your first and last line of defense against COVID-19. The reception is your salon's entry and exit point, and it must be sterilized.
Not all clients will have a mask when they arrive, which means they'll be without one when they walk in the door, giving the virus more chance to sift through the air and settle on surfaces.
Your doors, payment counter, and product areas are also high-touch areas that you need to clean frequently.
- Wipe down door handles, counters, phones, computers, keyboards, cash registers, and credit card machines after every use.
- Sanitize garbage cans before the hair salon reopening and always use a liner. We recommend a garbage can with a lid. Empty the trash bag when three-quarters full.
- Wipe down all products for sale after clients touch them. Since this is hard to monitor, we recommend that you remove products from shelves and offer them by request.
- Wipe down light switches several times a day, depending on how often you use them.
- Mop the floors at the end of the day.
2. Clean your restrooms more frequently
Restrooms have always been magnets for bacteria and viruses, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it's more important than ever to stop germs in their tracks. Take extra diligence in restroom cleaning.
Disinfects toilets daily and wiped down every thirty minutes, depending on traffic. Pay close attention to the following areas of the restrooms: floors, mirrors, and glass, sinks, toilet seats.
Restrooms are one of the hardest places to keep clean, especially if they are a high traffic area. Here are a few tips to keep your toilet clean.
- Use quality cleaning products
- Use a cleaning log
- Install touchless soap dispensers
3. Disinfect Shampoo Bowls
Some salons are discontinuing shampooing services until the end of the pandemic. If you plan to continue this service, include shampoo bowls in your hair salon sanitation checklist.
- Disinfect bowls, hoses, spray nozzles, handles, chairs, shelves, and product containers after each use.
- Dispose of one-use items and any lotion, cream, or similar product not in an airtight container immediately after use. Your state may not require this, but Georgia and other states do.
- Follow the above guidelines for garbage cans and light switches.
- Sanitize hampers before your hair salon reopening and never use them without a liner.
- Place dirty linens in a hamper with an airtight lid. Change linens after every client, and launder them every day using the warmest setting possible. After washing, dry them completely in the dryer on high, then put them away in an airtight cabinet.
4. Disinfect Workstations
Workstation sanitation has been a priority for stylists since long before coronavirus.
Today, the consequences of not following them are higher than ever, and the procedures for hair salon reopening are more rigorous to stop Covid-19 from spreading.
Keeping your workstations disinfected is the biggest job on your hair salon sanitation checklist.
- Sanitize chairs, carts, and counters between clients.
- Sanitize all reusable tools and appliances between clients. This includes clippers, clipper guards, combs, brushes, shears, rollers, product containers, and anything else that comes in contact with you and your client during service.
- If you use immersion baths to clean your tools, they should be mixed daily and changed if the water becomes cloudy or has any hair floating in the bath.
- Follow the guidelines above for garbage cans, hampers, linens, light switches, one-use items, and products not in an airtight container.
Wear Protective Gear
Sanitation and social distancing procedures are vital to stopping COVID-19 at your hair salon reopening. Protective gear (or PPE) is also necessary for your own safety. For a nail salon or a hair salon reopening, protective equipment includes more than masks and gloves.
You'll need to make changes to your normal salon protective wear to protect your clients and remain compliant with the law. Check your state's guidelines to make sure you're following regulations.
- Wear a mask at all times, and wear a faceguard or goggles while serving clients. Coronavirus can be transmitted with proximity to any openings in the face, which includes the eyes. When buying or creating masks, make sure they're made with appropriate materials.
- Wear disposable gloves and change between clients. Using gloves in addition to handwashing minimizes the amount of contact between clients and stylists, and both gloves and frequent washing should be standard procedures.
- Change smocks between clients. If you have enough smocks or can wash and dry them throughout the day, you can use your regular smocks. Otherwise, purchase disposable ones.
- Use a new cape for each client. Again, you can purchase disposable smocks if you don't have enough cloth ones to change them between clients.
Rules for Clients
By taking hair salon sanitation guidelines seriously, you can do a lot to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but there's still more to be done. Protect your clients by instituting these policies at your hair salon reopening.
- Require temperature screening before entry. The CDC recommends that anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above not be admitted. In states like Georgia, the limit is 99 degrees. It's also a good idea to give a health screening even if the client's temperature is below 99.
- Asking your clients questions about any cold or flu-like symptoms the client has experienced recently.
- Require clients to wear a mask. Many businesses are beginning to require this, and it's especially important in a salon because clients and stylists are in proximity. Provide masks for clients who don't have their own.
- Some of the earliest salons to reopen have prohibited purses, backpacks, etc. and allowed clients to bring only a phone and a form of payment. Your state may not enforce this measure, but you might consider it as an added layer of protection.
- Enforce social distancing guidelines. Don't hug or shake hands, and consider placing tape lines on the floor six feet apart to show clients where to stand.
- Consider requiring clients to wash hair before arriving and suspending shampooing service.
- Discourage clients from touching products they don't plan to buy. If clients browse products freely, you will have to sanitize them after they've been touched.
Rules for Stylists
Just as your clients can help stop the spread by following a few guidelines, you and your stylists can do your part, too. These policies will help prevent COVID-19 contamination in your salon.
- The CDC recommends asking employees to take their temperatures before coming to work. They should stay home if their temperature is 100.4 degrees or above or if they have any cold or flu-like symptoms. Once employees arrive, someone must take their temperatures as well. The person doing these health screenings needs to change gloves and wash hands between screenings.
- Sanitize hands after processing payments. Money is covered with germs because it passes through many people's hands, and most people don't think to sanitize their credit cards. Credit cards, though, are still much more sanitary than money, which is why you may consider a no-cash policy.
- Sanitize hands between clients. Even though you're wearing gloves, you must wash or sanitize your hands before working with your next client.
Hair Salon Reopening Procedures to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
With these hair salon sanitation guidelines in hand, you're well on your way to helping prevent the spread of coronavirus—but you can never be too careful when your clients' health is on the line. This is doubly true if your clientele is mostly African-American because the Covid-19 mortality rate is highest for this demographic.
As you prepare to open your salon, remember your guidelines, keep your hair salon sanitation checklist in hand, and consider these final procedures to protect yourself and your clients from coronavirus.
Keep doors locked, limit walk-ins, and encourage appointments
Some of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at your hair salon reopening are to shorten the amount of time people spend inside businesses and maintain social distance.
With regulations in place that prevent people from congregating in public, your clients may not even be allowed to wait in your lobby. That's why salons should encourage clients to schedule appointments rather than simply walk in.
If you're not already using an online booking service, now is the time to start. Ebena offers such service, and it's a great way to avoid the problems that walk-ins cause for public health at your hair salon reopening.
About Ebena Scheduling Tools
Coronavirus has completely changed the way the world does business. An appointment-only policy limits the number of people in your shop and helps maintain social distancing.
Ebena allows clients to search for the service they're looking for, book an appointment, and pay a deposit ahead of the appointment time. This not only helps you prevent walk-ins and encourage social distancing, but it means spending less time on the phone.
Considering how long stylists have been out of work, anything that will allow you to work more and answer phones less is a plus.
Ebena not only schedules your appointments, but it sends appointment reminders to clients, manages your schedule with weekly and monthly calendar viewing options.
The tool also logs client contact information. If you like Ebena's concept but are hesitant to invest money in a new service, you'll want to check out Ebena's free plan. You don't have to invest in a subscription to take advantage of Ebena's benefits.
Limit salon capacity to 50% or less
After your hair salon reopening, you can create even more social distance by cutting your salon capacity to 50% or less. Use every other workstation rather than all of them, and ensure that they're at least six feet apart. You may also want to erect barriers between stations.
Adopt a free sickness rescheduling policy
Do not charge customers for missed or rescheduled appointments due to illness. Instead, make it easy for your clients to reschedule their appointment. Customers may come into your salon sick because they want to avoid a fee.
While this policy protects salon owners financially, it may not protect you from infection getting into your shop. People are more likely to stay home when they're feeling sick if you temporarily allow them to cancel or reschedule appointments for free.
Ebena allows stylists to set policies for rescheduling, cancel, and managing refunds for appointments seamlessly. Since you determine your cancellation policies, you can temporarily change your settings so that if a client develops a fever an hour before her appointment, she can cancel without paying a fee.
Until these unpredictable days are behind us, every stylist needs to follow these hair salon reopening guidelines. Using caution will prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep their businesses compliant with government regulations.